5 months down, 5 months to go with my fellowship/teaching gig/adventure, whatever you want to call it, at Tra Vinh University. I’m not sure what will come next but that’s what makes it so exciting! I don’t usually do personal posts since I’m basically a robot. (Just kidding, I’m not) But I thought, what the hell, it’s a new year. Let’s do something new.
The start of the new year and the end of another year always prompts me to reflect, let go, and set intentions for the coming year. I’m not really one for New Year’s Resolutions but I do like making lists. My list for the new year usually includes things I want to see, accomplish, or do for the upcoming year. Sort of like a New Year’s resolution, but something a little more tangible than something like, “This year I will exercise more.” Because let’s face it, goals like that always fall on their asses. My list for 2014 was all about my life outside of work since I spent the entirety of 2013 focused on work. My list for 2014 included things like: Take dance class at least twice a week, bike to work at least once a week, apply for fellowships in Asia, go see the Van Goh exhibit at the Phillips Collection. And so on. There’s not really a theme to my list for 2015 but I thought I’d share what I’ve got so far:
- Take a trip on the Transiberian railway. I made a plan 2 years ago with one of my closest friends that together, we will finally do this. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and it WILL happen this year.
- Play guitar every day. I used to live and breathe music when I was in high school. Back then, I played piano and cello. Those instruments aren’t the best to lug around so I bought a guitar in Vietnam and am finally learning how to play. Something I’ve always wanted to do but never had time for after high school.
- Play soccer once a week. Or as they call it in this part of the world, football. Besides biking daily, I don’t get much other exercise in Vietnam. Since there aren’t any dance studios in Tra Vinh, I’ve had to discover other forms of exercise. I want to get somewhat decent at playing since it’s so much fun. I can already tell I’m much better than when I started playing a few months ago and I could see myself joining a league of some sort when I’m back in the States.
- Be able to hold a conversation longer than 5 minutes in Vietnamese. I should be more dedicated to my language studies but I just don’t have the time. Or more so, haven’t set time aside to dedicate to studying Vietnamese. My hopes are to expand this goal to something like “learn 10 new vocabulary words a day.” Yes. I live in Vietnam. Yes. I should know more Vietnamese by now. I’m working on it. I promise.
- Visit the countryside at least 2 more times before I leave Tra Vinh. I love the Vietnamese countryside so I definitely want to get a couple more visits in before I leave.
- Go kite flying. Because why not?
- Uh… Okay. I only have 6 things on my list. But it’s a start. This year is going to be all about figuring out what’s next. I guess this spot will be dedicated to spending time thinking about what I want to come next. Do I want to stay in Vietnam? Move back to DC? Or something else?
And since people always ask me if I get homesick, I thought I’d also include a list of things I miss about my life in the States. I don’t normally get homesick but leaving to go abroad this time around was definitely harder than it has been in the past. I think the older I get, the more attachments I have, and the harder it is to leave those attachments. I miss my friends and family. That’s a given, so I won’t list people, but here are some of the things that I find myself missing while living in Vietnam:
- Creamy soups.
- Mexican food.
- Craft beer. Especially dark beers.
- Red wine.
- The rest of my wardrobe.
- Brunch. More specifically, Drunch.
Anyone who knows me knows that I plan my life around meals and food so it’s not surprising that most of the things I miss are food. I’m a super adaptable person and while Vietnam life is pretty different than my life in the U.S., most of the differences don’t phase me much. The food in Vietnam is amazing and I haven’t gotten tired of any of it, BUT I still miss some foods. Today my cousin told me she ate two burgers after her trip to Asia. I actually asked her specifics about the burger. True to the stereotype, I really do love burgers.
Alright 2015. Let’s do this year.